Established in 1993 in the small coastal town of Bournemouth in the UK with a single location, Fitness First is now one of the largest privately owned gyms in the world with over 400 locations worldwide that include more than one million members. This week, 20 of the 80 gyms in the UK were introduced to a new identity designed by London-based The Clearing. The UK website is also the first to feature the new look. This is the initial phase of a £225-million investment globally to upgrade the company, from logo to training to facilities. The new identity will be rolled out to the rest of the locations at a later date.
Fitness First has launched a new brand identity, strategy and repositioning that is set to disrupt the gym industry and return the business to growth. […] Fitness First will inspire people to work on their fitness wherever they are, and not just in the gym — giving people “fitness-rich” moments and interactions that form long-lasting habits. The significant change is that people will no longer join a gym, but will enter a world of accredited fitness professionals, market leading innovations and all the inspiration they need to keep their workouts fresh and exciting.
The Clearing press release
The previous logo, execution wise, wasn’t bad at all. It had a decent script typeface and a proper “Fi” ligature. The problem was that, as a logo for a global gym and a galvanizing brand for getting fit, it wasn’t too convincing. The new logo, by contrast, is a full-on, fitness-powered punch in the face. You can fill the vitamin supplements coming out of it. The “1F” monogram is a great piece of design that supports the name of the gym and flat-out works as a fitness brand. It’s not on the same iconic level as Nike or Adidas or Asics but it is more aligned with those visually than the old logo ever hoped. The typography exchanges the script approach for an italic that looks techie and contemporary; the “Fi” ligatures feel a little heavy-handed now but it’s a nice nod to the old logo.
Our brief was clear and incredibly ambitious: redefine the category and help return the business to profit. Our strategy aims to deliver a new approach to fitness that won’t get you into fitness for a matter of weeks but naturally introduces fitness into your life. We’ve created a number of brand signatures that affect every customer touch point — from gym floor activity and service experience to employee engagement and fitness apps. We’ve also redefined the look and feel of the brand to reflect that of a contemporary apparel lifestyle brand whilst the new symbol is designed to make sense of the brand name.”
The Clearing press release
In application there aren’t many surprises. It’s the logo, the typeface, and the red color over and over. Which is perfectly acceptable, specially with such a distinctive monogram. Overall, the redesign definitely feels like a 180-turn that signals improvement for the organization.
Thanks to Paulus Maximus for the tip.